The Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has explained the cause of delay for his side coming into the chamber of parliament ahead of the conclusion of the 2022 budget debate.
Debate on the 2022 budget presented in parliament by the finance minister on November 17, 2021, is set to be concluded Friday November 26, 2021, after which approval voting is expected to be held.
Several hours after parliament was scheduled to convene, the majority side of the house is yet to report into the chamber.
While all 137 MPs from the minority side had taken their seats by midmorning, none of the 138 members from the majority side have entered the chamber as of midday.
Following this development, the minority has held a press conference to call out the majority for holding the house hostage.
But responding to claims made by the minority, the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh Dompreh, insisted that his side is ready to go through the process.
According to him, the cause of their delay is a result of a caucus meeting his side has been engaged in which the speaker of the house is aware of.
“We are still at the meeting, The meeting is not done yet, and because we were in a caucus meeting when the Speaker called to engage us, our members are still waiting and they have finished with their caucus. So after engagement with the speaker, we still have to go back and finish our caucus meeting,” he stated.
Further reacting to allegations by the minority, the Nsawam-Adoagyiri MP rubbished claims that the government is having to use a charter flight to being some of their absent members who are out of the country back to undertake the exercise.
“Caucus meeting is something normal that we do in this house. So for anybody to have the temerity to come and address you and to say that we are engaging in ferrying our members with chartered flight and I am told all manner of stories. I mean treat it with the greatest level of disrespect and disdain,” the Deputy Majority Leader said.
The make-up of the 8th parliament has made policies requiring voting to be contentious, especially when there is a disagreement between the two sides of the house.
The majority, with 138 MPs, has only one seat more than the minority side which has 137 members in the house.
Ahead of the approval vote, the majority side is said to be having a deficit in numbers.
The member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, and the Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adjoa Safo, are reported to be out of the country.
However speaking to the media, Annoh Dompreh insisted their absence still doesn't stop their side from winning a vote on the approval of the budget.
“That is your estimation. So don’t worry whether they are here or not, it is for me to tell you that they are here or not. We have our numbers,” he insisted when the media questioned him about the absence of the two MPs.
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